Changes in the Season

Without snow weighing them down, evergreen limbs sway in the wind under winter’s grey blanket. Rain showers roll through the valley and I wonder if conditions are right today for snow on the mountain. I incessantly check the cams and stations at varying elevations.

The season is off to a slow start. A few teaser snow days, rumors of fresh tracks and the occasional picture of gear or a group heading uphill gets posted on my feed. One ice storm. The usual reports on the evening news of trees falling down in the metro area. If you believe the news, there are no trees left standing and the relatively warm temperatures are a blessing. Nonsense. “El Nino!” “Windstorm!” “Pineapple!” the weather forecasters claim. If this early winter weather were a person, it would be the sloppy relative with a comb over who had too much eggnog… it really needs to get its act together.

In one week I’ve been snowshoeing, fishing, mountain biking, and road riding. My neighbor went cross-country skiing yesterday. While grabbing coffee in town I overheard a tale about a group hiking for early season turns during the last storm. The local mountain bike guru forecaster has issued a brown pow alert several times in recent weeks. As I pull up to trailheads this time of year, I get excited if there are other vehicles. Kindred spirits – unfazed by the colder, damp conditions – know that dressing for it makes all the difference. My dog’s coat is thicker now. She’s obviously advanced in the ways of enjoying the outdoors (she is always happy on the trail) so I follow suit and grab a thicker insulation piece to wear under my shell. Digging tires into loamy winter goodness is a nice consolation for winter being slightly delayed.

All this input has me running in circles, inducing a gear management and laundry marathon. It seems every piece of long underwear has been used in the last two weeks.

Wait, didn’t I have a thicker merino top in the gear closet? Or did I wear it on that early season Lewis River ride last spring? It’s not in my riding pack… oh, the other closet with the thicker mountain bike gloves. Bingo! Eww, into the laundry with that one too…

This process repeats itself several times, burning countless hours, until I’ve located the majority of my favorite gear from last winter/spring. There is always something missing, so I pull up my handy web browser, type my search term, and start combing the results to ensure I fill the ever-changing gaps in my gear.

While online, I check the cams again. Soon, I think. I hope. I have faith that winter will deliver. I dig my skis out and admire the thick coat of summer wax that went on them last June. I fight the urge to scrape them off and become OCD about tuning perfect edges. I’ll wait ‘til the snow really falls. In the meantime, I’ll take the pup for a walk, gather with my fellow outdoor aficionados, do snow dances, and continue to watch the sky for the signs. Faith comes in many forms. It will come. The sooner the better.




Pre Season Rep Day Sale! October 19th – 20th

The Rep Day Sale is upon us! October 19th and 20th to be exact…

The  reps have come out of hibernation and are hitting the road, giving us the ins and outs of their products so that we can get you into the gear that is best suited for you, literally and figuratively. But why not experience their knowledge, first hand? Not to take anything away from our shop guys- What I am saying is that there aren’t many opportunities throughout the year where you have the reps from all your favorite brands posted up in the same place at the same time and filling you in on all the juicy details. Not that they are gossip girls or anything like that. This isn’t Comic Con. Although there are a few of the reps (who will be in attendance) that like to nerd out on Comic Con. Again, that isn’t a bad thing. Some reps like comics and super heroes and some like football… but we all love skiing and snowboarding. Game. Set. Match.

US Outdoor Pre Season Rep Day Sale

TGR – ‘Way Of Life’ Tickets Available at US Outdoor

There’s no culture like snow culture and TGR (Teton Gravity Research) captures this in their newest film: ‘Way Of Life.’ It premiers here in Portland on October 4th, at the Wonder Ballroom, and tickets ($10) are available here at US Outdoor (in-store only). So come down and say hello, grab a ticket and secure your entry for what is sure to be a great night.

Now, I could sit here and type about how great ‘Way Of Life’ is going to be, but that would be a fools errand because if pictures truly are worth a thousand words then this TGR trailer is well on its way to publishing a novel… So without further ado, check out TGR’s ‘Way Of Life’ Trailer below and go see the full length movie October 4th, you won’t be disappointed.

2012-2013 K2 Digital Catalog Available

Would you like to see into the future of snowboarding? Most of us will say yes to this question. Unfortunately the human brain has yet to develop foresight of that magnitude. Fortunately, the future exists within different parallels and if you sign up for the K2 Snowboarding Digital Newsletter here, K2 will send you a digital catalog of the new 2012-2013 product line.

On what parallel does this future foresight exist, you ask? Well, seeing as the folks at K2 have only presented this catalog to shop buyers that place the order for your local snowboard shop, you as a K2 Snowboarding Digital Newsletter recipient get a first look into what products might appear on the shelves before they actually end up… on the shelves. KAZAAAM! It is not exactly telepathy but hey, it’s a start.

Core Lens: Magnetic Fisheye Lens for Smart Phones

Like it or not, the ‘Smartphone’ continues to have a profound effect on modern society; acting as Ambassadors of Communication in our newfound Age of Information. Smartphones not only provide us a Wi-Fi connection to the outside world at large, their cameras have become a tool for documenting our daily lives through the lens; the combination of the two are a potent social media blend that generate instantaneous results. That brings us to the topic at hand: the Core Lens Magnetic Fisheye Lens for your smartphone.

Core Lens Magnetic Fisheye Lens Accessories for Smartphone

This fisheye lens is designed by Core Lens and attaches magnetically over the lens of a smartphone; the result expands the capabilities of the camera’s lens by providing a wide, 180 degree angle shot that adds new dimension to the pics you snap off each and every day. Furthermore, the Core Fisheye Lens is so small it clips to a keychain and clasps to the smartphone instantly once the flat magnetic washer is attached. It’s mobile, easy to use, and relatively inconspicuous. And it’s versatile. Capture the whole party in one shot! With a 180 degree wide angle you can snap one off at close range, there is no more clearing space in crowded bars. Switch to video and film a skate line through the city at the drop of a hat without carrying the extra camera bulk.

There will always be purists that condemn the camera phone on the grounds that “everyone now thinks they’re a photographer”, I recognize the argument but, it’s not like the Core Fisheye Lens is going to replace the professional set-up; there are differences between snapping pictures and taking photos. And if your creative eye is keen you should have nothing to worry about.

I for one love the fact that this new smartphone accessory promotes creativity in us all. Who knows? It might just help an unsuspecting someone to unlock a talent they never knew they had or inspire a developed photographer to explore a new creative process. But enough with theoretical scenarios. Check out The Core Lens Magnetic Fisheye Lens here at US Outdoor. It’s pretty awesome.

The Arcteryx Theta AR Jacket: A Product Video Adventure

The Adventures of Captain Ahab: Episode 2

Captain Ahab is not one who takes being ambushed lightly. Shipwrecked and sucker-punched, Ahab experiences the metaphorical benefits of the Arcteryx Theta AR Jacket through the teachings of his new friend. He begins to understand that not only does he live to endure harsh conditions but, with the right Arcteryx Outerwear, he also seeks them out. To be comfortable is not enough; Ahab must be comfortable in climates that most civilized human beings deem unsuitable for play. So when the weather gets the best of Ahab, he aims to even the score by belittling the climate’s most devastating attack.

By land and sea, being dressed in the Theta AR’s waterproof Gore-Tex Pro Shell (or “Dragon Shell”) gives Ahab the opportunity to adapt to and endure the brutal attack of the Bad Weather Ninja. Its well thought out design that features WaterTight Zippers, Pit Zips, One-hand adjustablility and a longer cut which stifles his foe and renders the ninja powerless.

You see, we have all been sucker-punched by a bad weather ninja, it is a life lesson that teaches us to be better prepared, especially here in the Pacific Northwest where it is foolish to believe the meteorologist whose extended forecast calls for blue skies and no precipitation. But no matter where you are on the globe, unsuspecting rain, wind, and snow or the combination of all three can kill the mood and in some cases threaten your life. Real talk. Don’t be caught off guard. To be well prepared is to give yourself the upper hand in any situation.